Monday in Chengdu
We had a great spring day in Chengdu! Students returned from the weekend happy and with stories about their adventures:
Aidan experienced a fish pedicure – he soaked his feet in a tub of water while the fish nibbled at the dead skin on his toes,
Andrew went ice skating and took a bike ride,
Anna enjoyed Saturday tea time with her family,
Brenna played many sports with her host family including soccer, badminton and volleyball,
Ellie and Sherry rode rides at an amusement park,
Grace attended a wedding banquet where the bride and groom both wore traditional red,
Henry took a train ride to Chongqing, about two hours away,
Kohuske visited a local market with his family,
Sam ate intestine soup!
Our kids attended a couple of classes with their Chinese hosts before the official Welcoming Ceremony. We all stood on the stage before the 4,000 students of the Chengdu Experimental Foreign Language School (more than all the people in Bethel!). When Mr. Penley began his speech, speaking in Chinese, the crowd cheered and clapped. He was a rock star! Apparently, all other non-Chinese visitors have used a translator. We presented the principal Mr. Wang with our gift- a wooden plaque made at school in the shape of Maine with the Gould insignia and a quotation from the Analects of Confucius on the back. They seemed to like it.
We then boarded a bus and visited the Wuhou Temple and had some time for shopping on Jingli Street.
We were delighted to meet up with Jingfei, a senior Gould student who is from Chengdu. We also looked around a high end shopping area called Taikoo Li.
On our return to school we participated in “English Corner”, a chance for students in Grade 8 to speak with native English speakers.
Besides the conversation, everyone was sought after for autographs, especially from some of our boys who the Chinese girls swarmed and said they found them to be “very handsome.” When it was over Andrew was shaking his head saying “I think I’ll need an ego check after that!”